HOUSTON — Houston quarterback C.J. Stroud is off to a great start and ranks third in the NFL with 1,461 yards passing.
He’s also taken care of the ball and has an NFL record 186 passing attempts without an interception to start a career.
Now he’ll face a New Orleans defense that ranks fourth in the NFL by allowing just 183 yards passing a game and that has seven interceptions.
NEW ORLEANS (3-2) at HOUSTON (2-3)
Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT, Fox
OPENING LINE: Saints by 1 1/2, according to FanDuel SportsBook.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: New Orleans 1-3-1; Houston 3-2.
SERIES RECORD: Saints lead 3-2.
LAST MEETING: Saints beat Texans 30-28 on Sept. 9, 2019, in New Orleans.
LAST WEEK: Saints beat Patriots 34-0; Texans lost to Falcons 21-19.
SAINTS OFFENSE: OVERALL (25), RUSH (20), PASS (24), SCORING (22).
SAINTS DEFENSE: OVERALL (4), RUSH (8), PASS (4), SCORING (4).
TEXANS OFFENSE: OVERALL (11), RUSH (27), PASS (3), SCORING (13).
TEXANS DEFENSE: OVERALL (18), RUSH (17), PASS (18), SCORING (11).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Saints plus-3; Texans plus-5.
SAINTS PLAYER TO WATCH: DE Carl Granderson. He came to the Saints as an undrafted rookie out of Wyoming in 2019 and has been the team’s most productive defensive lineman through Week 5. Last week he improved his team-leading sack total to 3½, tied a career high for tackles for loss in a game with three and pressured Patriots QB Mac Jones into an interception that Tyrann Mathieu returned for a touchdown. Granderson now has eight QB hurries, which easily leads the club. His play early this season motivated the Saints to sign him in late September to a four-year extension worth up to $52 million.
TEXANS PLAYER TO WATCH: S Jalen Pitre. The 2022 second-round pick had his best game of the season against the Falcons. Pitre had 11 tackles, knocked down a pass and recovered a fumble in his second game back after missing two games with a bruised chest.
KEY MATCHUP: Houston QB C.J. Stroud vs. the New Orleans secondary. The second overall pick is off to a great start and ranks third in the NFL with 1,461 yards passing. He’s also taken care of the ball has an NFL record 186 passing attempts without an interception to start a career. Now he’ll face a defense that ranks fourth in the NFL by allowing just 183 yards passing a game and that has seven interceptions.
KEY INJURIES: Saints TE Juwan Johnson, who led the team in TDs receiving last season, has missed the past two games with a calf injury and missed practice time again this week. Also missing at least some practice this week were S Lonnie Johnson (hamstring), FB Adam Pentice (knee), S J.T. Gray (hamstring) and OT Landon Young (hip). … Texans WR Tank Dell is in the concussion protocol and could miss Sunday’s game. … WR Robert Woods is questionable with a rib injury. … LT Laremy Tunsil missed practice this week with a knee injury but should play.
SERIES NOTES: These teams first met in Houston’s second season in 2003 when the Saints got a 31-10 win in New Orleans. … Neither team has won two in a row in this series. … Houston’s first win in the series came in a 23-10 win at home in 2007.
STATS AND STUFF: Saints QB Derek Carr had two TD passes last week to double his total for the season to four. When Carr was with the Raiders, he averaged 271 yards passing per game in four starts against Houston. … RB Alvin Kamara last week became the Saints’ all-time leader in touchdowns when he scored the 73rd of his career to surpass Marques Colston’s previous mark (72). … Kamara seeks his seventh straight game with at least 80 scrimmage yards. … Rookie RB Kendre Miller had 90 scrimmage yards (53 receiving, 37 rushing) in Week 5. … WR Chris Olave had his first TD receiving of season last week and the fifth of his career. … WR Michael Thomas has had at least 50 yards receiving in each of New Orleans’ first five games. … TE Foster Moreau scored his 13th career TD receiving last week and his first as a Saint. … DE Cameron Jordan had a half sack and his 11th career fumble recovery in Week 5. … LB Pete Werner had his first career interception last week. … Mathieu had the 30th interception of his career last week, the fourth that he returned for a touchdown. … Mathieu had two interceptions when he played for Houston in 2018. … S Marcus Maye returns from a three-game suspension this week. … Houston RB Dameon Pierce has had at least 80 combined yards in two straight games. … RB Devin Singletary has scored a touchdown in two of his past three games against the NFC South. … WR Nico Collins has 14 catches for 314 yards and three touchdowns in two home games this season. He ranks fourth in the AFC with 467 yards receiving. … Dell ranks second among rookies with 324 yards receiving. … TE Dalton Schultz led Houston with seven catches for 65 yards and a touchdown last week. … Rookie LB Henry To’oTo’o led the Texans with a season-high 12 tackles last week. He has had at least seven tackles in four straight games. … LB Blake Cashman set a career high with nine tackles, including two for losses last week. … DE Jerry Hughes has had a tackle for loss in three straight games.
FANTASY TIP: Collins could be a good pickup after having big performances in both of Houston’s home games this season. He had 146 yards receiving and a score against the Colts and a career-high 168 yards and two scores in a win over Pittsburgh two weeks ago.
- Video: Wings clipped, Easton parents react to season halted
- FNF Archbishop Hannan Ball Hawk of the Week: St. Charles Catholic’s Brayden Bertucci
- FNF Southern Quality Ford Dealers Scholar-Athlete: John Curtis’s Bryce Godfrey
- How to keep your pet safe during the holidays
- FNF: 4th quarter surge helps Calvary Baptist defeat St. Charles Catholic for the Division III Select title